Aidan Durias. June 15 2021. Oregon
My trips to San Isidro del General and the SEPA school have been incredibly educational, engaging, and exciting. I’d like to first highlight the city, then the host families and school, and finally my experience returning for a second time during the worldwide COVID pandemic.
The central downtown and surrounding city of San Isidro de El General is well-equipped with a wide variety of restaurants, stores, and activities. In addition, San Isidro is uniquely situated such that Costa Rica’s unique natural attractions are totally accessible — I am never more than an hour drive away from beaches, jungles, waterfalls, and farmlands. Whether I plan trips myself or go through the SEPA school, I am always finding new variety within the same accessible radius.
Though my group from Oregón- MHCC in my first trip to Sepa school, was well-split among host families, we were all no more than a short and affordable bus ride away from one another and the school. Whether taking the public bus or a taxi, the entire city is easily accessed from each of the host houses.
My experience living with (and visiting) SEPA school host families has always been incredibly warm, friendly, and engaging. In both my stays in San Isidro de El General, I have been well provided for and comfortable in my Costa Rican home. It is a joy to integrate even briefly into the specific family dynamics and take part in daily activities while practicing Spanish. I cannot express enough the value of my families during my two stays with the school — they are connections I’ve fostered even after leaving.
The hospitality and warm welcome are not unique to the host families; I’ve also experienced them at the Sepa school. The professors are incredibly patient and careful of individual levels and abilities, and they are incredibly adept at teaching students across various levels in the same classroom. Whether I have felt less knowledgeable or more than my peers, I have always learned the Spanish language in a long lasting and profound manner.
Now halfway through my second trip, I am happy to report that the Sepa school, families, and culture have largely persevered even given the presence of COVID. I’ve found efforts to combat COVID in San Isidro to be more coordinated and effective than any I’ve seen in the states. Every public place is equipped with hand sanitizer, if not a full hand washing station. Temperatures are regularly checked upon entry to larger spaces, and masks are worn indoors with next to no exceptions — even in outdoor spaces most are wearing masks! I have felt very safe staying with my tico family, attending Spanish classes, and engaging with the city in fun, interesting, and COVID safe ways. In fact, I’ve found myself engaging the city even more than my first trip two years ago. I’ve taken up a regular personal boxing class near the school and explored a larger variety restaurant.
In short, my enthusiastic recommendation of SEPA school and San Isidro de El General in general has not changed given the COVID crisis. While cases are perhaps higher in San Jose, lending an appearance of a worsening situation, I’ve found the opposite to be the case in San Isidro. As regular precautions are taken, vaccines are slowly and surely beginning to make their way into the country. I trust in the cultural cohesion and adhesion to basic protocols as COVID begins to lessen i’m the city.
The COVID in Costa Rica. Sonya & Jake Strikowski- Florida- June 27 2021
“ I came with my husband to study Spanish at SEPA School in June 2021. At the time there were high alert travel warnings to CR. However, San Isidro de El General is almost 3 hours from San Jose with very few cases of COVID. Unlike in the U.S., EVERYONE wears a mask and all businesses are compliant with safety requirements. Even though we are vaccinated, we follow the rules. When we arrive at school, we wash our hands. Classes at the school are outdoors. The teachers wear a mask and/or keep a safe distance, so that we can better hear word pronunciation.”
Lesley West. Maine, U.S.A- 2020
I have taken several months of online Spanish lessons with SEPA. I started while in Costa Rica and continue after my return to the United States, this past summer. I worked one- on- one with the same instructor, which I enjoyed. The course work was well organized, in a progressive fashion. There was a nice balance between structure work and spontaneous back and forth dialogue, built on what I was learning. The program offered great flexibility, working easily with my schedule and any changes. I look forward to continuing lesson through the SEPA program in the future, hopefully in one of their Immersion programs. I recommend SEPA to anyone interested in learning Spanish.
Jennifer Bergh. M.H.C.C- Oregon 2020. U.S.A
I came to Costa Rica to study Spanish with my University, MHCC. At the beginning, I was very excited with this trip but when I arrive, I felt overwhelming.
Since the first minute, my tica mom made my fell welcome. The school worked with every student according to their levels and made the student felt comfortable in the class.
The first week I went to Manuel Antonio and we visit the National Park too. During my trip here, I visit the beach, a butterfly farm and the Indigenous Reserve BriBri. This was a fun day!
I had the perfect host family. Lidia is very funny. We laugh a lot and had good conversations. She is part of my family now.
I cannot believe 7 weeks has past! The time went so fast. I met many people who will always be my friends. I am so sad that the trip is over!
I will come to Costa Rica and Sepa School!
Kaylee Connolly. M.H.C.C-Oregon 2020. U.S.A
In the past 7 weeks, I have learned a lot and visited many places. My favorite things from Costa Rica are the food, the weather, the crazy drivers and my host family. Most of the people of San Isidro are very sympathetic. Every day I came to school to learn Spanish and then I had lunch with my friends. Every week I went to the beach or the rivers with my tico friends. My favorite beach is Piñuela because is very isolated. I love my teachers, my tico family, my school, and my new friends. I have learned a lot in Costa Rica and I plan to come back one day.
Chase Park. M.H.C.C-Oregon 2020. U.S.A
Desde la primera semana aquí supe que había encontrado el paraíso. Nuestra primera excursión fue a Manuel Antonio y allí vi la hermosa naturaleza y a la gente aquí le encanta el medio ambiente. Los guardabosques nos enseñaron sobre los esfuerzos de conservación en este país, es muy admirable.
En SEPA, yo vi que todos los profesores trabajaron duro para enseñar en la mejor manera posible. Yo nunca vi a los profesores frustrarse, porque ellos estaban listos para ayudar. El trabajo fue duro, pero valió la pena. Los profesores podían cambiar sus métodos de enseñanza para ayudar a los estudiantes. Si un estudiante tenía problemas los profesores se centraban en eso y no se rendían hasta que el problema estuviera resuelto.
Mi parte favorita en este viaje fue mi familia. Desde la primera vez que nos conocimos, me sentí como parte de la familia. Pienso que he encontrado a la familia más unida del mundo. Mi familia me ha amado tanto como ellos se aman entre sí. Cada día, yo volvía a casa con problemas o confusión y cada día me ayudaban. Ellos han tenido mucha paciencia conmigo. Con ellos compartí muchos viajes y excursiones, y conocí a todos los parientes y fueron muy simpáticos. Mi mejor experiencia con mi familia fue cuando fuimos a Manuel Antonio.
Yo aprendí muchas cosas aquí, la cultura, el idioma, la gente y muchísimas más. Yo sé que mi español se ha mejorado mucho más que sí no hubiera venido. Voy a hablar con todos mis amigos y familia sobre mi experiencia aquí. Espero poder volver aquí pronto para aprender más español y visitar a la familia que encontré aquí.
Benjamin Rulla. M.H.C.C-Oregon 2020. U.S.A
Toda mi experiencia en Costa Rica fue muy buena. Mi familia tica fue linda y muy simpática. Todos los días les gustaba ayudarme con español. Tuve algunos problemas para entender a mi familia cuando me hablaba, pero eso fue mejorando. Nosotros visitamos la montaña y algunas granjas. Me gustó mucho hablar con las personas en mi familia, ellos me ayudaron con vocabulario cuando no entendía muy bien las palabras en español.
Me gustan las clases en SEPA porque necesité entender la materia en español y las clases eran muy tranquilas. Estoy feliz que aprendí mucha gramática de español, pero me gustaría hacer una clase de conversación. Para mí fue mas difícil saber cuando usar las formas correctas de gramática en pronunciación.
Estoy feliz de venir a Costa Rica para estudiar español y me gustaría volver aquí para aprender más.
Norman Guenther, Virginia, U.S.A
I had been looking for a Spanish Language immersion program to improve my skill and fluency in Spanish.
SEPA´s program is well structured and is principally focused on improving speaking competence, particulary the skills that are needed to perform well on an oral proficiency interview (OPI) if you are a test taken.
The program is relatively inexpensive, I found not only the staff at the School but also the people in the local community tobe friendly and warm.
I plan to return next year. The experience with my home stay family and SEPA, especially my principal instructor Karina, has been very rewarding.
John Guenther, Washington D.C, U.S.A
My dad and I had a great experience with SEPA!
We came during the low season, so we were 2 of only 3 students at the School. At first we thought this might be a problem, but it ended up being a great opportunity since we received plenty of personalized attention. In just one week we made great improvements in our comprehension.
Our teachers, Evelyn and Karina, were so patient and helpful, and were always very professional. Our favorite day was going to the Feria del Agricultor (Farmer´s market). Taking to the vendors and trying all the unique tropical fruits was a great learning experience. Overall, Sepa was a great experience and we hope to return soon.
Joe Bolza, Australia- October 2019
On my second visit to SEPA school I was able to consolidate a lot of grammar in conjunction with a lot of practice in conversation. The hardest part in learning a language is to apply knowledge of grammar to using it in everyday conversation. My teacher Evelyn was excellent at encouraging conversation and now I feel confident enough to speak Spanish to anyone I meet.
Joe Bolza - Australia March, 2019
Ciara Elkins. Molalla, Oregon. Mt.H.C.C 2019
My experience at SEPA School.
After seven weeks in Costa Rica, I feel confident in saying that it is an incredible experience and entirely worth it!
SEPA did a phenomenal job in pairing us with our host families and took extra care throughout our stay to ensure we were being well cared for. Our teachers took time to touch base with each student and extend help outside of class where needed.
The school offers: cultural activities to broaden your learning, understanding of the country and its people. We met indigenous tribes, volunteered at their university and met many folks with stories to share.
Also, they help set up tours and activities outside the program, to help you explore safely and cost effectively.
The tour of Osa Peninsula was my favorite, because we were able to see the plantations, waterfalls and less touristy beaches. The hospitality there was beyond amazing.
Finally, whether you just need a refresher during your travelers, coming with a school program, or have never spoken Spanish prior, I highly recommend SEPA School. The staff will make you feel at home.
Pura Vida from a fellow traveler and delighted graduated of SEPA!!!
Kimberly Miller "K.C"-MtHCC. Hood River, Oregon 2019
Definitely one of the best trips of my life. I would recommend bring extra tampons if you are a girl cause its very expensive, and do every activity you can.
We went to hot springs- they were okay but the view was amazing- Several ocean beaches- bring a plastic container for all the shells and sand dollars.
Manuel Antonio was amazin, but go on all the trials, don´t just stay at the beach. I saw a baby sloth, baby monkeys and a baby deer! We went to Uvita- don´t be afraid to make trips in smaller groups. The hostels are awesome and can recommend very good tours. We saw a baby humback whale jumo in the ocean at Uvita.
The waterfalls were awesome too. One you could climb up and sllide down. The Diamond Waterfall tour was awesome as well- we slept behind a waterfall in a natural cave and watched the sunset while we sat on another waterfall over the beach miles away!
If you can deal with lots of walking up mountains, go to Chirripó- it was beutiful. Surfing lessons were also lots of fun in Uvita. It is very hot and you really should wear lots of sunscreen, especially at the beach, even if you are tan. Go to OSA- it was PURA VIDA, the coolest thing with crazy mangrove forests.
The Spanish classes were lots of fun. Make your friends talk more Spanish to you, talk as much as you can. Its okay that you don´t know words and you are going to feel like you aren´t learning enough. Just keep talking and don´t give up. If you don´t know something ask, everyone wants to help. Immersion programs feel difficult because its a lot at once, and you can´t strive for perfection. You want to, and there is always someone who is better, but don´t let that get you down. When you start to feel overwhelmed, talk to the teachers. They are awesome and really understand.
Try not to say "no" to anything and try all the food once, even if you normally don´t like something. I hate beets, but there was a purple salad that was amazing. Eat in SODAS always. Lots of new choices and so much cheaper than restaurants.
Christine James- Francia 2018.
Una buena experiencia en SEPA School. El lugar es muy agradable con naturaleza y aves diferentes cada día. Profesoras muy agradables y disponibles. Me gustaría venir aquí mas tiempo. Quizás el próximo año.
Jenna Flower from Moonee Ponds- Australia 30/10/2018.
Jenna Flower´s testimony
I researched many different Spanish schools across Costa Rica, before enrolling at SEPA, and am very happy with my decision to enroll at SEPA School during 4 weeks. I found all the staff very professional, knowledgeable, passionate and kind. The School and the program were well organized. As a beginner learning Spanish, l found the Spanish classes and teaching style both provided me with direction and structure but, was also flexible to my personal learning needs. I was also working remotely whilst in Costa Rica, so l felt this flexibility extended to accommodate my work and out of school needs / timetable.
I found the school and teachers care about your experience both inside and outside the classroom. From assistance to where l can buy things, l had Spanish classes outside of the classroom, at a local organic farm, farmers market and cooking course.
Another benefit of SEPA is San Isidro de El General. San Isidro is a great location to be able to travel to different destinations, for day trips or weekend trips to get to know Costa Rica and the town, itself is charming.
My home stay was amazing and was a great addition to my classes. My family was very welcoming and supportive. I felt part of the family and participated in many family activities. l was lucky enough to explore Costa Rica and experience the local customs that added that extra dimension to my experience.
I would defiantly recommend SEPA School to anyone looking to learn Spanish in Costa Rica.
Carinna and John- Lideres Overland 2018
There is no letter long enough to express all the reason to thank you. In every moment you were there to help us, support us and cheer us. Because of everything we were told, we knew that working with you would be a placer. However, what we have share the past six weeks, goes beyond. We really thank you for your collaboration, compassion, knowledge and kindness. Every day we yearned to go to SEPA because it was a place where we could find peace, joyfull and friendship. We appreciate all the hard work you have done during this summer and we are say to say goodbye.
Thank you again, we love you!
Overland. U.S.A - 2018
During SEPA School, we learned a lot of Spanish and our conversation skills grew. We also did a lot of service in order to help kids. The first week, we practiced a lot of Spanish at SEPA School and the activities were fun and helped a lot in learning Spanish. We also planted tires at Miraflores School, first, we painted the tires to give them a nicer look. The kids liked the new addition to their school and played on them. These week, we learned more Spanish with SEPA, and did service at another school. We planted flowers and made the tables nicer by painting them and giving them designs. The last week, we went to another school (el peje) and painted the flour. We were able to inteact with the kids more. Also,we did our first presentation. Mine was about musicals.
Overland. U.S.A 2018
The teachers at the SEPA School are very hands on. My Spanish has strengthered significantly from speaking it during the class. We also did activities outside of class like shopping, dancing, and cooking. We had to prepare a presentation for the last of school, which was difficult at times, but fun. Overall, the teachers are very welcoming and land and I enjoyed learning at the SEPA School.
Emily Karasko- Wilderness Adventure 2018, U.S.A
My experience at SEPA School was fantastic. I understood a lot of Spanish. SEPA School is beautiful and excellent all around. My teacher is smart, helpful and kind. I enjoyed my time at SEPA School.
Amanda Weber- Wilderness Adventure 2018, U.S.A
I love SEPA School. My experience at SEPA School was excellent. I learned a lot of Spanish. My teacher was very intelligent. Thank you!!
Natalie Arias - Overland. U.S.A 2018
I like the whole trip, including the service, hotels and classes. My favorite part was the service at La Aurora. I really liked working with all the kids and seeing all their science projects and dancing. It was nice to feel like I was doing something to help people in their life. I liked working at FUDEBIOL. I felt like I could improve the workspace and stay space of people who needed it. I also liked the work at the last school, because we got to paint. With the hotels, I liked FUDEBIOL because we were all in one room, althought the showers were cold. I liked all of the weekend places, and Talari was fun was fun because there were a lot of thingd to do. I really liked the place with the good view and communal rooms, because I liked the beach and it was really pretty. I like the Crestones hotel becuase it has small rooms with t.v! I also liked the Spanish classes becuase Adri made them fun while keeping us under control and having us learn. I liked the activities like going to the grocery store and dance classes. Overall, it was a good trip.
Kiera Loffredo. Overland 2018. U.S.A
I really liked the SEPA School, from the teachers to Fran always helping us. Nidia and all of the teachers made it very fun, and all of the activities were really great. The activities outside of class that they prepared for us were pretty great, like the movie, the visit to BriBri community and the tango/salsa class. I´m quite lucky to have been able to engage with Nidia and her family, especially Denise. She always was around helping us with our Spanish or laughing along to the movie with us, which made it more enjoyable to have a friendly atmosphere. I also loved all of the great service work, it was very gratifying to help beautiful schools imporove. I definitely loved La Aurora the most, all the kids were so cute and sweet, I absolutely loved it. Also, having mami the puppy there for snuggles was amazing. It was always great at the end of the week when we got to go to a vacation place and go to the beach or Manuel Antonio, it was a great relaxer from all the work and I appreciate that Nidia and the team organized those for us. Also, the fact that we got to see the most beautiful beaches i have ever seen. Even when the people were sick on our trip and really not feeling well, Nidia would always bring us essential oils to make us feel a lot better. I am very grateful for this experience and will never forget it, so thank you!
Selma Kanaan. Wilderness Adventure. 2018 U.S.A
I really enjoyed the class because we were very productive, and learned way more than I thought I could in only four days. I really liked when we would play games for the second part of the class because I was learning and having fun at the same time. In addition, I really liked taking to people that live here because I really got to apply the things we learned in class to actual conversations.
Anastasios Kobosis "Tasi". Wilderness Adventure. 2018 U.S.A
My time in Costa Rica has been very fun. I have done many excercises and activities which help me speak Spansih. In SEPS School we have done many activities and conversations which help me and my peers learn Spanish. This school acheived this in a very short amount of time which is pretty impressive. Another thing about this school is that the teachers and staff here treat us very well. Overall I really liked this school.
Laine Lloyd. Wilderness Adventure. 2018 U.S.A
I have definetely enjoyed the past four days in Costa Rica at SEPA School. My favorite part was definetely working with the other class and visiting the market. I got to talk to locals and buy a treat! Karina was super nice and friendly and I love the games she taught us in Spanish.
Anna Johnson. Wilderness Adventure. 2018. U.S.A
Me encanta Costa Rica porque el clima es muy bueno y las montañas muy bellas. SEPA School fue increíble porque cocinamos, hablamos, fuimos a la ciudad, y jugamos juegos. La señora Paula es una profesora muy buena, simpática y divertida. Aprendí unas cosas sobre conversación y practiqué mi gramática y tiempos. Recomendaría esta escuela a muchas personas porque es muy divertida y los profesores son buenos y simpáticos. Ojalá que pueda venir otra vez.
Nikolas Kobosis. Wilderness Adventure. 2018- U.S.A
We have had a wonderful time in Costa Rica. The people here are very kind, the nature and scenery is amazing and our time in SEPA School was awesome. The teachers here have been extremely kind and helpful. They have taught us well in a short amount of time. I would definitely recommend this school to somebody who wants to learn since this place offers a combination of learning and fun. More over this school feels kind of like a family where every one knows each other and everyone is friendly.
Joshua Smith-Lunger. South beach, California. U.S.A
I absolutely loved my experience at SEPA. I am a three year Spanish student and I retained more of my learning of the language in one week here than in any of my classes in high School or Elementary. It is an intensive that imerses you not only in the language of this beautiful country but its culture as well. I could not have asked for anything better thank you so much for all your work to everyone at SEPA.
My first week taking classes was really good. I felt that I was learning a lot even just after the first day. I really appreciate how my teacher use multiple methods of teaching and really emphasized the correct way, not just ways that could work. I also really appreciated the flexibility with sheduling my classes as I had car problems and needed to adjust things a couple of times. I really feel encouraged by my progress and an excited to keep learning.
Bethany Wanzek- Fargo, North Dakota.
My time at SEPA School has been a very valuable part of my trip to Costa Rica. Without this program, I would not have learned all that I now know about the culture here. The instructors are an amazing resource to ask ant question without worrying about miscommunication because of the language barrier. This program intelligently combines classes with a homestay to be able to practice what you have learned in class with your family. And when I say family I realliy mean they become your family. These people help and care for you as a family would. I have become close friends with my family members and I am sure we will stay in touch. I have learned so much Spanish in a short period of time thanks to SEPA School.
Robert and Christine Madar- Corvallis,Oregon.U.S.A
Based on our 65 years of combined experience in k-12 education - from classroom teaching to providing technical assistance in instruction, curriculum design, and whole school restructuring to schools and school districts across the United States - we found the instruction at SEPA to be rigorous, engaging and comprehensive. We took the intensive course, four hours of instruction per day, for a period of four weeks. We both agree that it was one of the best educational programs we have ever experienced. At the beginning of the course, we took a test to determine our background knowledge of Spanish (very limited) and the instructional program was designed based on that assessment. Our instructor, Karina Young, did an outstanding job. She is a highly skilled, expert teacher - knowledgeable, supportive, and humorous - and used just the right combination of direct instruction, questioning, and review of previous learning to help us master an amazing amount of Spanish in just four weeks. Her use of wait time - giving us time to think about the answer to a question - was particularly impressive. It gave us the opportunity to search our memory for elements of grammar and vocabulary we had previously learned, reinforcing our learning and preparing us to speak Spanish in the world outside the classroom.
Excellent classroom instruction is only one part of the SEPA program, equally important to our learning were the home stay, the field trips, and the volunteer opportunity we experienced. Our home stay host and her family spoke only Spanish, so we were required to use our newly acquired skills immediately. After school and on weekends, we would venture into town to shop, visit cafes, etc. and both hear and speak Spanish. Our host family took us on several outings - a birthday party for a friend's grandson, a rodeo, and a visit to a hot springs - that gave us a sense of daily life in Costa Rica. We participated in several SEPA field trips: an evening at the cinema, a shopping trip to a local farmers market, a trip to a butterfly conservation center and a visit to a local organic Finca. All of these trips deepened our understanding of Costa Rican life and culture, and gave us additional opportunities to practice speaking and understanding Spanish. We also had the opportunity to volunteer in a third grade English classroom at a local elementary school where we were able to help the students with English while they gave us help speaking Spanish.
The combination of classroom instruction and the application of our learning both at home and in the community made our month at SEPA one of the most effective, enjoyable and satisfying educational experiences we have ever had. We will definitely come back for more next year.
Regina Forni- Buffalo, NY. U.S.A
Recently, I studied Spanish at SEPA for six weeks and it was a wonderful experience! In past years I attended four other Spanish schools in Costa Rica and SEPA is by far the best. I am a teacher of English as a Second Language, so I know a lot about the most effective ways to teach another language. The instructional methods and materials at SEPA are much better than what I encountered elsewhere in Costa Rica. When I return to Costa Rica, I will without a doubt be going back to SEPA.
Thank you Nidia, Ana, Karina, Ligia, and the rest of the staff at SEPA. You’re the best!
Ben Barkan- Boston, Massachusetts. U.S.A
I studied at SEPA school for 6 weeks and I´m so grateful for the experience. I learned a lot and really enjoyed my time here. The homestay was awesome, I had a lot of fun with my Tico family, and I couldn´t be happier with the experience. My professor was knowledgeable, patient, helpful, and customized the lessons to my Spanish abilities and interests. I studied Spanish at two other schools prior to SEPA School and I significantly prefer SEPA School because of the quality of the education. The school is beautiful and in a nice countryside setting overlooking the mountains, yet close to San Isidro center and very easy to get to. I highly recommend SEPA School to anyone wanting to learn Spanish in Costa Rica. I´m grateful for the education I received and will likely return to SEPA school one day to continue learning. Pura Vida! – Ben Barkan, happiest student of SEPA School,
A CACHETE MAE!!!
Angela Ramponi- Alaska. U.S.A
I greatly enjoyed my time at SEPA! Although I was only here for one short week, the classes were exactly what I needed to prepare myself to practice SPANISH during the rest of my travels. I have a much better understanding of what is going on around me and exactly what I need to practice. My host family was fantastic and I hope I can return to SEPA and study longer another time!
Kathy Blozy- Brooklyn.NYC.
Attending SEPA School, accompanied with our Homestay experience (all for one week), was the best part of our 3+ week vacation to beautiful Costa Rica. Our family of 5 (with children ages 14, 12 and 9) had a wonderful experience - memories that will last a lifetime. The classes were tailored to meet the needs of each member of our family with learning Spanish. The variety of each class (going to the market, walking into town, studying in the classroom, etc.) kept everyone happy. The grounds of SEPA School were gorgeous and the teachers were amazing in every way - helping us with day trips, always asking how things were going for us - we really felt cared for. Our Homestay was incredible - to live with a Costa Rican family - learning Spanish, speaking only Spanish, experiencing their culture, eating their food - was intense, yet perfect!!! When friends ask the kids what their favorite part of our trip to Costa Rica was, they all say, "Living with Estefania's family." SEPA fue perfecto y la experiencia para mi familia y mis hijos fue la mejor de sus vidas!
Francisco Castro- Líder Overland 2017- U.S.A
In the summer of 2017, I led a group of 12 middle school aged boys and girls in a language and service oriented trip in Costa Rica. From the day our students arrived to the country, we felt welcomed, supported, and vastly encouraged by SEPA’s staff. From the coordination of volunteer programs, the dynamic Spanish classes, to the logistics of transportation and excursions, our time in Costa Rica would not have been the same without the help of SEPA. SEPA is engaged in its community like no other and is thus able to connect students to volunteer programs that both meet a real need and engaged us with the culture. Our students constantly expressed how much they enjoyed their Spanish classes at SEPA in comparison to their classes in traditional schools. Activities like cooking empanadas, dancing Zumba, and leading games for kids in indigenous territories made our students realize that learning Spanish can truly be fun.
SEPA School’s teachers are kind, patient, and quick witted. They are able to connect to our students and the community at large in order to create a genuine learning community. Our group of kids bonded easily and that speaks to how a program like SEPA School can leave a lasting impact on kids. As the leader of this group, I left Costa Rica inspired to continue working with students and the environment at large. SEPA’s uncompromising vow to teach Spanish and educate other about the reality and beauty of our environment should be a model for other organizations and groups seeking to travel sustainably.
Jake Blozy- Brooklyn, NYC 2017. U.S.A
I had a very fun time in San Isidro, going to SEPA and the homestay. I learned a lot of important Spanish here at SEPA and the homestay made me use the Spanish that I learned to talk to the girls at the homestay. SEPA also help me to get confident in speaking Spanish to native Spanish speakers in Costa Rica. Even though I knew most of what happened in the classes, the class at SEPA helped to refresh my memory of the Spanish that I knew and it help me to become more confident in speaking Spanish.
The homestay was amazing. It was very interesting and fun to live a Costa Rica life, to eat the food and live in a Costa Rica house. The family for the homestay was awesome, Estefania was helpful and the girls were very friendly.
Tom Blozy- Brooklyn, NYC 2017. U.S.A
We had an incredible week at SEPA and in our Costa Rican home in San Isidro del General. Our Costa Rican family with Estefania, Isa and Leo was very warming and inviting. They opened their house and life to us. We shared meals and explored the surroundings with them.
I knew very little Spanish before I came to SEPA, but with the help of the kind and considerate teachers I learned mucho Español. I was able to hear Spanish, write some Spanish and become more comfortable speaking Spanish. They worked slowly with me but also pushed me to study and practice the language. Thank you so much SEPA, Estefania, San Isidro and Costa Rica!
Elisabeth McKenna-California,U.S.A 2017
My SEPA experience exceeded all my expectations. From my first email everything was promptly, courteously, and professionally handled. My host family was wonderful, and well matched to my requests. The instructors are extremely competent, encouraging, and dedicated. San Isidro is the perfect little city to learn Spanish. The people are friendly and generous, and because it is not a tourist destination, one has many opportunities to practice. My only regret is that I couldn't stay longer!
Karen Horan- Texas,U.S.A 2017
I had a wonderful experience at SEPA School! I spent three weeks in beautiful San Isidro Costa Rica learning Spanish, yes, but so much more! The staff at the school was excellent at helping to make this adventure so rewarding. I chose to stay with a host family. They were awesome! They fed me and made sure what I needed, but above and beyond that, they made me feel like family. My "house mom" helped me make weekend plans so I could see more of the country. One weekend to the mountains to see waterfalls and hot springs, the next weekend to a volcano...it was great! During the week I had class all morning, volunteered at a local public school in the afternoon, got to visit la Feria, the local farmer's market, and even take a couple of Zumba classes. Oh, and did I say the Spanish classes were great? 🙂 The teacher met each of the students where we were and challenged each of us as we needed it. I learned SO much! Thank you SEPA School for a wonderful experience. I will be back for "refresher" classes soon.
Molly Scott-Baton Rouge, Louisiana U.S.A 2017
SEPA School and being in Costa Rica was a great learning experience for me. I learned a lot about the Spanish language and how to speak it, and I also learned about Costa Rica´s unique culture. Everyone in my homestay and in the school was very helpful and kind to me.
While I was here I visited the feria, did volunteer work, went to a movie played in Spanish, and visited a coffee plantation. I was also here for the celebration of Día de la Madre and got to explore the town of San Isidro.
Learning Spanish was the biggest part of the trip. I was a complete beginner when I arrived here, and I understand so much more now than I did before. My Spanish vocabulary is much stronger, and I am excited to learn more.
Kirk and Ellie Trammell- Kentucky,U.S.A 2017
Sepa is the best!
I would recommend this school to anyone serious about learning Spanish (or anyone who wants to vacation in Costa Rice while casually learning some Spanish).
The teachers and staff at SEPA are super nice and very attentive. My wife and I were taught Spanish in a very comprehensive and logical way (with cookies and fresco!).
SEPA took away any stress associated with learning Spanish in a foreign country. One weekend, I had a minor health issue and the owner of the school drove me to the clinic and a specialist so that I would not have to explain anything in my broken Spanish. Wonderful time in Costa Rica!
Camille Porteous- Wilderness Adventure 2017. U.S.A
This program was great. I learned so much and everyone was so nice to me and the rest of the students. I had lots of fun and learned a lot. I would highly recommened this program to others hoping to learn Spanish
Elizabeth Blue- Wilderness Adventure 2017. U.S.A
My experience at SEPA School was amazing, at first I felt a little overwhelmed and did not really knew what we were doing but as time went on I gained more confidence and was able to participate more. I learned a lot more grammar that will be very helpful in the future and I am very thankful that I got to be here. Paula was funny, nice and really good teacher. She made class interested and fun, and because of her, my Spanish has improved a lot.
Charlotte Andreano- Wilderness Adventure 2017. U.S.A
My experience at SEPA School was fantastic. I learned so much and the complete immersion in the language and culture was so helpful. Our class days varied form in the classroom, to local parks and markets, so we could have the full experience of Costa Rica´s culture. Our skills improve greatly plus the program really test your enthusiasm and commitment to the Spanish Language.
Miriam Bridger- Wilderness Adventure 2017. U.S.A
SEPA School was a great opportunity for me to come and get better at Spanish in a fun and different way. It was especially great because it gave me a head start on Spanish this year. I really enjoyed being in Estefania´s class because she was fun to be around, entertaining and really friendly. Overall, it was a great experience.
Líder Megan Little – Wilderness Adventure 2017 U.S.A
SEPA school provided an excellent foundation and jumping-off point of the students during their time in Costa Rica. Their classes consist of a mix of coursework and fun game/activities, which made learning both effective and enjoyable for our kids. My favorite part of the course is when the students go to the “feria” and the park. They not only get an opportunity to practice conversation Spanish with native speakers, they also get to experience local culture and foods. The teachers are outstanding, and the students genuinely enjoy their company and their lesson.
From my experience as one of the trip leaders, l look forward to SEPA school every day. Nidia´s house feels like our second home, and it is a blessing to have a few house to relax, complete paperwork, use the internet, and know that my students are in great hands.
SEPA magically makes classes and coursework that challenge each student individually even with an away of levels present. It has been an absolutely pleasure to work with Nidia, Ligia, Stefania and Paula. You all are not only great at what you do. You are also wonderful people and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with each of you.
Líder Eason L. Warren- Wilderness Adventure 2017 U.S.A
SEPA school provided a fantastic learning environment for the students. Not only were the teachers fantastic, and classes organized, but the organization as a whole really made the students, as well as Megan and I, feel at home. The students looked forward to their time at SEPA with excitement. They perceived it more as an immersion experience where they had fun learning, as opposed to just “school”. That alone speaks wonder for the environment which SEPA school has created.
The classes were well organized, and students were dutifully placed within their ability while consistently being pushed to the edge of their lingual comfort zone. Classes were a great mix of games/activities and “hard” skills such as worksheets and writing. The homework given to the students fostered excitement and comprehension and the students required little motivation to complete it. This was especially true for assignments where students were expected to act out a scenario or give an oral presentation. The professors did a great job of easing along with teaching students with little ability, while at the same time challenging those who have a much stronger grasp of the language. Overall, SEPA school created an educational space that made the students excited to learn, which is no easy task.
To Nidia, Ligia, Stefania and Paula, thank you all so much for making our job as leaders a little bit easier. You treated us like family, were great company/ companions, and above all you created a desire within the students to learn. Unfortunately, our journey together has ended, but the fact that I am sorry to be leaving speaks as to how wonderful this organization is. Thank you SEPA school, I hope the future holds nothing but positive things for you.
Thomas Mcfray-Overlan Summer 2017. U.S.A
I have enjoyed my staying in Costa Rica very much. SEPA School has done a fantastic job of organizing our activities through the last three weeks. I have especially enjoyed going River Rafting and visiting Manuel Antonio. The Spanish classes has been very informative, it was a delight to be taught by Ana, she focused on each student´s individual progress.
Rachel Spain- Overland Summer 2017. U.S.A
During my trip in Costa Rica. I had so much fun doing all the activities. The service was varied in difficulty: we painted, dug holes to plant, build a fence. It just felt so rewarding after we finished. I am so glad that our leaders took our phones away because it really forced us to be present and in the moment. As well as get to know one another. In just 3 weeks all of us have gotten so close, more than I ever expected. Spanish class was very helpful because we practice a lot of Spanish and learned new words specific to Costa Rica. Silvia has been an amazing teacher and has helped me get better at Spanish. Our class was always fun and engaging. It is so hard to summarize everything because we have done so many amazing things. Going to the indigenous reserve Bribri was so fascinating because we got to learn about a whole new culture. Also rafting was a big highlight of the trip because I was super excited for it. Our guide was so much fun because he was knowledgeable and funny. I also loved all the beaches we went to, swimming was so fun. Just something as little as singing on the bus will be a happy memory.
Sammi Fern- Overland Summer 2017-U.S.A
My experience in Costa Rica was amazing! Especially going to SEPA, they were warm and welcoming to us. I also like when we went white water rafting because I was really scared at first, but they made it really fun and enjoyable. Another experience I liked was going to the beach and swimming in the water. Finally, my favorite service project was working at La Aurora School because, not only were the kids really sweet, but seeing their faces after we finished their agility area was priceless. I wish this trip lasted longer, but I am looking forward coming back to Costa Rica soon.
Georgia Hale- Overland Summer 2017. U.S.A
SEPA was a great way for me to learn Spanish in an excited way. I learned so much Spanish through experiences such as going to the farmers’ market and Zumba class. Service at Fudebiol was hard and very hands on which really made me feel like I was making a difference. On weekends, I especially enjoyed going rafting and exploring the pristine beaches. The second week I had a lot of fun painting at the school and talking to the students. Overall, this trip was incredibly memorable, and I feel like I learned so much about Costa Rica culture´s and language.
Dan Alexander- Overland Summer 2017. U.S.A
Over these past three weeks, I have really enjoyed my time at SEPA SCHOOL. During Spanish classes, I have expanded my vocabulary, as well as learned many new verb tenses, all while having fun and being engage by my teacher Ana. The three service projects I took part in, especially my time at Colegio Sinaí, really opened my eyes to the different experience that different people have, and showed me that a small action, like painting a fence, can really create positive changes. Overall, my experience at SEPA has been overwhelming positive and I am sad to be leaving.
Azoya Clarke-Overland Summer 2017. U.S.A
During my time at SEPA SCHOOL, I definitely retained a lot more Spanish than at my past Spanish courses at my school. I enjoyed the speaking practice that we had at the food market or at the Bribri Reserve. Although I am not fluent in Spanish yet, I feel much more confident in my speaking, comprehension and writing skills. Also, Ana and Silvia were really great teachers. They are both really excited about their work, which would make me more excited to learn more Spanish. Outside of the class, I really enjoyed the activities we did. Working at the school, going to the indigenous reserve, making empanadas for class was very interesting. I learned a lot about the people of Costa Rica and their culture though these activities. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience, and it has made me very excited to continue studying Spanish.
Ellie Griffith- Overland Summer 2017. U.S.A
The first place we stayed in was FUDEBIOL. It was very pretty and I enjoyed it. Next, we stayed at a different hotel for one night. After that, we stayed at a hotel for a week and I had so much fun there. After, we stayed at a resort for two nights and that was my favorite. Now, we are staying at TALARI. I love working at the three different schools. The first was my favorite because I love getting to talk to the kids. I am also going to miss the beautiful beaches. The weekends at the beaches and watering holes were so much fun.I am going to miss the SEPA teachers so much. They are so nice and I learned so much. I am going to miss the group and counselors as well.
Jennifer Light. MHCC-Oregon 2017. U.S.A
This has been a wonderful trip for me. It really made a difference for me getting to stay this long and getting to live with a local family. I loved our professor Karina. I was not sure how I would do with four hours of class every day, but it was really good. We were able to see a lot of beautiful places around the area in our time off of school, which I really enjoyed and was important to see more of what Costa Rica has to offer. My stay with a tico family was so great. It was a really good fit for all of us. They were so welcoming and helpful with my studying Spanish and understanding the culture. I think it would have been better if I knew more Spanish before a came, but the timing was good for me so I came anyhow. We learned a lot of new information every day and it was hard to absorb it all. But also I learned a lot and can have basic conversation when I meet other Spanish speaking people in town. My professor was organized and thoughtful and I really appreciated her teaching style. Very helpful for all us in our group. Overall, it’s been a wonderful experience and I am so glad I got to be here!
Zackary Chambers. MHCC-Oregon 2017.U.S.A
Costa Rica es muy Pura Vida.
Costa Rica is super fantastic, fun and outstanding. I am going to be more homesick leaving here than I was leaving Oregon. The pureness of life here is surprising. I admire the appreciation of life here than I can explain. The people here are friendly, loving and caring beyond words. The mental health I’ve noticed is a lot better here because of the cooler way of life. The physical health is also a lot by just having to walk around more and drive around less.
Niki Martin. MHCC-Oregon 2017. U.S.A
SEPA is a school like I could never have imagined. Unique, intensive, supportive, and completely irreplaceable. What is most important about language, arguably, is cultural context. Here, in a city of almost entirely Spanish-speakers, local families host students and share their incredible hospitality. They open their homes (and their hearts) to students of all different backgrounds and cultures. The combination of all these elements- location in beautiful San Isidro, the landness of local Costa Ricans, is the best.
Rachael Schlaht. MHCC-Oregon 2017. U.S.A
This has been one of the best experience of my life! I have made so many lifelong friends and many memories. When I arrived I immediately felt welcomed. My family was very kind and giving, and always made me feel like a part of the family. They always made sure that I was taken care of and always included me in their activities. I came to Costa Rica speaking very little Spanish and over the course of six weeks I have learned to speak Spanish almost fluently. The teachers in SEPA are some of the best teachers that I’ve ever had and they always have patience and understanding. In the school we did many activities having to do with the culture of Costa Rica and I have learned a lot because of this. On the weekend I was able to go out and explore and I have encountered many animals, people and experiences along the way. I can honestly say that this has been one of the best experience of my life!
Makaena Durias. MHCC- Oregon 2017 U.S.A
My main concern at the start of this trip was that I wouldn’t feel at home in San Isidro. As an introverted, home-bodied person, I really value being able to feel at home where I am. In my experience here, I felt at home within the first few hours with my host family. They were incredible kind and attentive but at the same time, were conscientious enough to let me rest and settle in. Over the weeks, my family expressed genuine interest in getting to know me as a person and invited me to join their family outings without pressure. As for the class aspect of the program, I knew that it would be different than classes I’d taken in the past. The classroom dynamic was much like an informal-style tutoring session with a friend. It was equal parts conversational and lecture time, and Ana gave us countless opportunities to share stories, ask questions and make our assignments our own. SEPA’s outings were fun as group activities and great gateways to meeting new people and places. The best part of the trip for me was the deep long-lasting relationships I built with my classmates, professors and host family. I would highly recommend this school to anyone looking to apply their Spanish, see a beautiful piece of the world, and meet some wonderful lifelong friends.
¡Muchas gracias SEPA!
Suzanne Zalokar. MHCC - OREGON 2017
My 7 weeks learning Spanish at SEPA SCHOOL.
When I arrived at the SEPA school, I was overcome with the beauty of the school and the surrounding area. The instructors and staff are kind and demonstrate a sincere interest in teaching us, not only how to speak Spanish, but also in helping us to gain a true understanding of Costa Rican culture.
The program in which I participate was for college credit and was quite rigorous and intensive. At times I was overwhelmed with the amount of information that I was absorbing at any given moment, but the gentle encouragement of my teachers and the other staff helped me to stay on track. And like a good cup of tea, I now have time to let all of this information steep in my mind. Happily, the experience here, in tandem with my previous studies in the United States, will provide a solid foundation for me to teach GED classes in Spanish when I return to the United States – something about which I am thoroughly excited.
Costa Rica is a country of inexplicable beauty. SEPA school is located in San Isidro, Perez Zeledon. It is not a tourist town at all. It is a town that gives you a taste of life in a real Costa Rican town. The city is not far from both the mountains and the ocean beaches. In seven weeks, I was able to explore much of the South Central Coast and a bit in the mountains on weekend trips. There are many wildlife corridors, biological centers, National Parks and natural places to explore that are reasonably assessable from San Isidro.
We also had the great fortune to participate in many cultural experiences including dance classes, cooking classes and a trip to the indigenous community of BriBri.
Finally, the people of Costa Rica are some of the most kind-hearted and welcoming people I have met in my travels. The family with whom I stayed in QueBradas have become not only my friends, but have also become a second family to me– my “Tico” family. I know that when I return to Costa Rica, I will always have a home with them. I know that I will return here, it’s only a matter of when.
Valentina Achtar-Overland Summers 2016. Dallas,Texas.
My trip to Costa Rica was amazing. Over the course of 3 weeks I learned so much Spanish and did so much great service work. The teachers, especially Glenda did a great job of teaching us.
They all went out of their way to teach us all about the Costa Rican language and culture. The bus drivers, Juanca and Mario, were really awesome. They are so nice and always make sure we are supplied with jamming music. Our leaders Emily and Braden really made the trip 100000% better. The service work was really great and I’m glad I could do work to help Costa Rica. This was a truly unforgettable trip.
Ben Marre-Overland Summers 2016. Frington- NY.
Overall, SEPA School has been an absolutely amazing experience. The Spanish teachers have been absolutely amazing, especially Glenda who was my favorite. The bus drivers were also great. I especially liked Juan Carlos and Mario. We went to such amazing places, like Marino Ballena and Manuel Antonio National park. La Cusinga was so beautiful, and the best place we stayed. I also loved my school SEPA, its location is very beautiful and I loved the dogs and classrooms. The cooking class and dance class and other activities were fun as well as educational. I love SEPA School!
Portia Holt Seattle- Overland Summers 2016. Washington D.C
My time here in Costa Rica has been filled with memories and too many laughs to remember. Each day we went from learning more Spanish to doing fun and interest projects at Fudebiol, different schools and places in the rain forest. Our first week in Costa Rica was kind of our adjusting period. Everything and everyone was new. Our first place we stayed was a nature type lodge in the rainforest called Fudebiol. In the mornings we would do our service project: building a new bench for a group of students in class. Building the bench was fun and our final product ended up looking really good and overall. The bench was a lot of fun to build. Later in the day we’d have Spanish classes. Some days we’d go do outside activities such as going to the farmers market or taking a dance class. Doing the outside of class activities where always very enjoyable for me. My favorite activity the first week was the dance class. The second week we visited a high school and a boy’s school. We played soccer and volleyball with the kids and at the high school we painted a fence. I really enjoyed playing soccer with the kids at the boy’s home and it was so nice seeing all of them so happy. Later in the week for school we had a cooking class where we made Pico de Gallo, smoothies and guacamole. It was really delicious with the empanadas. We also went to an indigenous reserve, saw a movie and did a couple other activities. Our third and final week we went to Escuela Quebradas and painted tires in super colorful paint and planted flowers in them. On that Tuesday we went to a hot spring which was very fun. Overall this trip has been a lot of fun and I’ve met a lot of great friends.
Leyton Philbrook-Overland Summers 2016. Los Angeles, California
My time here in Costa Rica has been spectacular. I have made some many great friendships and got to embrace a new culture. Costa Rica is different but similar to my life back in California. First of all, Costa Rica has much more vegetation and wild life, I don’t think I ever seen rain fall so hard in my life. I love getting away from such a big city to a destination in the rain forest. There are many differences like the security, dirt roads, wildlife, dogs freely running around, and different methods of transportation. My highlights of this trip has been the beach weekends, the rafting, hiking, movies, hot spring, the food, my time at service, my time at SEPA School, the dance class and cooking class, and the market. SEPA School has been great; I loved my Spanish teachers Karina and Lucrecia. We had a blast playing games and practicing Spanish. During volunteer service, I felt like I tried my best and helped some people in need. This trip has been an all-around great experience and I would love to come back to Costa Rica again.
Sophie Waimon- Overland Summers 2016- Chicago
SEPA School was a great experience for me. I loved everything! Glenda was an amazing Spanish teacher and I learned a ton. The weekend trips were great. I loved staying at La Cusinga and seeing the wildlife. Also the outings during class were super fun. I especially enjoyed the dance class and farmers market. The places we stayed during the week were fantastic. I absolutely loved Fudebiol and the service we did there. Jesus was the best! Los Crestones was also good and it was very nice of them to let us stay there. Talari is also amazing! This has been an amazing trip! Thank you SEPA!
Will Egan-Overland Summers 2016.- New York City.
My experience in Costa Rica has been a time l will never forget. We started at Fudebiol, a nature reserve in the mountains. There, we built some benches and natural stairs, as well as repainting several signs. At SEPA, we learned about many tenses and conjugations but still played enjoyable games in Spanish. The next week, we stayed at Los Crestones, throwing a party for kids with family issues and painting a fence for a school. We also went to an indigenous reserve of the bribri culture, danced and played soccer with them. The third week we stayed at Talari, a place like Fudebiol but with nicer accommodations. We went to hot springs and played games in Spanish. For service, we painted tires to plant plants. We also sand land, painted desks for the kids. We did so many things in such little time. I would go back to this place in a heartbeat.
Melissa Hale: Spanish Classes and Homestay Costa Rica, 2016
"Exactly what I needed to obtain the confidence to have a conversation in Spanish!"
I thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Costa Rica and with SEPA Spanish Language School. After years of Spanish in a classroom setting, the three weeks I spent in the SEPA Spanish program were exactly what I needed to obtain the confidence to have a conversation in Spanish!
My homestay house was exceptionally clean with a super comfortable bedroom. I was treated like a family member and the food was excellent.
My homestay family helped me to learn new words and phrases and Marta corrected my Spanish. Marta is a lovely person and host. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know her and her family. She always made sure I was comfortable and happy.
SEPA Spanish School's location is ideal, situated in a cozy city, close to plenty of natural attractions. I would recommend SEPA Spanish School to anyone, and I hope to return again soon!
Elizabeth Couture, Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"It's easier to speak Spanish now."
I would recommend SEPA Spanish Language School because I learned a lot in only a week: it helped my Spanish. I learned a lot because it was intensive. The games were effective. The coffee breaks were awesome! In general, I liked the classes especially because there were not a lot of students in each class. It's easier to speak Spanish now.
Madeline Prassas, Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"Teacher included everyone in activities"
The Spanish teaching methods used in our SEPA Spanish program were effective because our teacher included everyone in activities. SEPA Spanish School divides you into small classes which makes it much easier to learn. Also classrooms are outside and very cool with great views.
Caroline Bunker: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"I can see a big difference in my speaking skills."
I absolutely loved coming to SEPA Spanish School! The classes were very tailored to my Spanish skills and the teacher was absolutely amazing at keeping me engaged during class! The material taught was very easy to apply to my conversations and I can see a big difference in my speaking skills.
The house is very beautiful and is a great learning environment and is very gorgeous. Overall, I have had an amazing experience!
Ford Middendorf: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"The experience was overall AWESOME."
Totally, I'd recommend SEPA Spanish Language School. My teacher was friendly towards the students and they were responsive. SEPA Spanish School activates learning through patience and kindness. The teachers are wonderful and persistent. The experience was overall AWESOME.
Anna Pressgrove: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"Learn Spanish faster and better."
SEPA Spanish School in Costa Rica has been the perfect place to learn Spanish. From a beautiful view, to the always smiling faces of the staff, this has been an amazing experience. They provide the best coffee, and the enthusiastic staff made learning Spanish so effective and entertaining.
My teacher taught us in an interactive way to help us learn Spanish faster and better.
The SEPA Spanish Language School helped me grow so much as a Spanish student. If you are ever in Costa Rica, and you want to learn Spanish, I recommend you go to the SEPA Spanish Language School.
Jackie Braselton: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"Everyone at SEPA Spanish School is so nice."
I would definitely recommend SEPA Spanish Language School to other people: it is beautiful and everyone here is so nice. We learned things, then used them as examples in everyday life, like with the market in San Isidro.
I really enjoyed working and learning at SEPA Spanish School. Everyone is so kind and the market was an amazing experience. Paula is such a fun, nice teacher. I have learned a lot about past tense verb forms and many other things. Mucho gusto!
Katya Dibonato: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"It helped me learn a good amount of Spanish in a short period of time."
The SEPA Spanish School has been the most amazing place to learn Spanish. They do a perfect job of dividing you into individualized groups based on your level. The teachers used hands-on methods to engage us more during class time. I learned a good amount of Spanish because we were able to have conversations and ask questions.
We also got to go to a market where we were able to practice the Spanish we had learned in class. All of the staff do a wonderful job of teaching in a fun way. Also, there are breath-taking views that you are able to look at while enjoying learning Spanish.
SEPA's Spanish classes helped me learn a good amount of Spanish in a short period of time. My experience was excellent and I highly recommend it for everyone.
Thomas Filip: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"A good place to learn Spanish no matter what level you are."
SEPA Spanish School is a good place to learn Spanish no matter what level you are. They cater to the needs and abilities of all levels and are very hospitable. Coffee and cookies are brought out during class breaks and it is very delicious. The facilities are beautiful with an amazing house and beautiful view of the mountains.
The teachers use personal experiences and opinions when teaching, which help. Thank you so much!
Seema Jindia: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"The SEPA Spanish School teaching staff is great at teaching."
I have had an amazing experience at SEPA Spanish School in Costa Rica. Because of the learning environment, I was able to learn a lot of Spanish. The games and activities all helped my Spanish. In class, we were only allowed to speak in Spanish; therefore, my listening and speaking skills increased greatly.
Also, the staff at SEPA Spanish School is great. They were able to teach me many new things. I learned when and how to use the subjunctive. They also showed great amounts of hospitality.
I recommend SEPA Spanish Language School because I personally learned a lot and the staff is great at teaching. Thank you!
Adam South: Wilderness Adventures, 2016
"I saw my Spanish increase drastically over the week we were here."
I greatly enjoyed coming to SEPA Spanish Language School. I saw my Spanish increase drastically over the few days we were here. On the first day, I could hardly understand anything our teacher said, but by the last day, I could understand most of what she was saying.
Everyone I encountered was very kind and understanding when we struggled. They were very hospitable and made us feel welcome from the first day.
I believe SEPA Spanish Language School is a good school for every level of Spanish. My listening skill increased a lot, as well as my grammar. I learned how and when to use the subjunctive. The games and activities all helped my Spanish. We were surrounded by Spanish and were immersed while we were in class.
Thank you so much for everything!
K. A. Rosebaugh: Spanish Language Personal Tutor Program, 2016
"I can now make myself understood in Spanish."
Definitely I will recommend Sepa Spanish Courses to others, and have already recommended it to others. I can now make myself understood in Spanish. I now understand reflexive verbs and irregulars. The home was well kept by my homestay family and all meals were prepared to meet my special diet needs. The bedroom in my homestay was outstanding! Thank you Viques family!
Brenna Betts: Wilderness, 2016
I would recommend SEPA Spanish Language School. I learned a lot in a short amount of time. And I enjoyed my stay in San Isidro very much!
Anonymous: Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon 2016
My time with my Tica family was wonderful. I felt totally at home from the first day. My Tico mom helped me learn new words and introduced me to new people. When I was sick, my Tica mom made me special drinks and foods for my stomach trouble. She has a garden and many different plants, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. She cooked my dinners with fresh ingredients every night. We laughed together and shared stories. I had an unforgettable time with my Tica family.
Mi tiempo con mi familia rica fue maravilloso. Me sentí totalmente cómodo desde el primer día. Mi madre tica me ayudó a aprender nuevas palabras y me presentó a gente nueva. Cuando estaba enfermo, mi mama tica hizo frescos y comida especial para mis problemas de estómago. Ella tiene un jardín con muchas plantas diferentes, vegetales, frutas, y hierbas. Ella cocinaba mis cenas con ingredientes frescos cada noche. Nos reímos juntos y compartimos historias. Tuve un tiempo inolvidable con mi familia tica.
Marie: Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon 2016
Marie wrote her comments in Spanish! Here is a translation:
I am Marie. I'm from Oregon but I have been in Costa Rica for seven weeks. In Costa Rica, I have been happy and content. I have learned a lot of information that I couldn't have learned in The United States. I enjoyed my experience with my Tico family. The family is very nice. I enjoyed learning the culture of Costa Rica too. I have learned how to live in a country that is not mine. I went to many beautiful places in Costa Rica such as Manuel Antonio, Nauayuca, Dominical, La Cusinga, Canopies, Bribri, and Cloudbridge. I love them all, but my favorite place was Nauayuca because it is so beautiful, fresh, and tranquil. It was a great experience!
Soy Marie. Soy de Oregon pero yo he estado en Costa Rica por siete semanas. En Costa Rica he estado feliz y contenta. Yo he aprendido mucho información que no puedo aprender en Estados Unidos. Yo disfruté mi experiencia con mi familia tica. La familia es muy simpática. Yo disfruté aprender la cultura de Costa Rica también. Yo he aprendido como vivir en un mino que es no mío. Yo fui a muchos lugares bonitos en Costa Rica como Manuel Antonio, Nauayuca, Dominical, La Cusinga, Canopies, Bribri, y Cloudbridge. Me encantó todos, pero mi lugar favorito fue Nauayuca porque es muy hermoso, fresco, y tranquilo. ¡Fue una buena experiencia!
Chase Jackson: Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon 2016
Chase wrote his comments in Spanish! Here is a translation:
In Costa Rica, there are spectacular natural wonders and fantastic places, but what I loved the most in Costa Rica are the people. Before arriving here, I didn't know anything about how my experience was going to be. Thanks to all the awesome Ticos in my life, my family and my Tico friends, I can say that coming to Costa Rica was one of the most perfect experiences of my life.
I grateful without end for my family. I loved my family here in Pérez Zeledón. My Tico father is very nice, and my Tica mom is kind, fun and a chef of many talents. I almost ten years older than my Tica sister, but she is much more beautiful and intelligent than I could hope to be some day. My Tica aunt is very fun and nice.
Susie is the dog of the house; she is sick, but she is very sweet and I love her very much.
My family was nice to me from the first day until the last. I was never hungry for even a minute, and I was always comfortable in my family's house. They took care of everything I needed and they did it with much pleasure. I'm jealous of the next student who will live with them; he or she will be the luckiest North American in Costa Rica.
I'm really happy that I attended SEPA because I met Costa Rican friends. I give thanks for the natural beauty of this country, and for my awesome family in Pérez Zeledón. I will never forget my perfect time as a SEPA student.
En Costa Rica, hay espectáculos naturales maravillosas y lugares fantásticos, pero lo que me encantó más en Costa Rica es la gente. Antes de llegar aquí no sabía nada sobre cómo sería mi experiencia. Gracias por los geniales ticos en mi vida; mi familia y mis amigos ticos, puedo decir que venir en Costa Rica fue una de las más perfectas y experiencias en mi vida.
Tengo gratitud sin fin para mi familia. Me gusta mucho mi familia aquí en Pérez Zeledón. Mi padre tico es muy simpático, y mi mamá toca es cariñosa, divertida, y una chef muy talentosa. Yo tengo casi diez años más que mi hermana tica, pero ella es mucho más hermosa e inteligente que yo podría esperar ser algún día. Mi tía tica es muy alegre y simpática. Susie es el perro de la casa; ella está enferma, pero es muy amable y ella me gusta mucho. Mi familia fue simpática desde el premer día hasta el último. Por un momento no he teñido hambre, y he estado muy cómodo siempre en la casa con mi familia. Ellos metan todo lo que yo necesito con y lo hacen mucho gusto. Estoy celoso del próximo estudiante quien vivirá con ellos; experiencia es como mía, él o ella será estudiante con más suerte estadounidense en Costa Rica.
Estoy muy contento porque yo asistí a SEPA, porque conocí amigos costarricenses, por la naturaleza en este bonito país, y por mi genial familia en Pérez Zeledón. Nunca yo olvidaré mi tiempo perfecto como estudiante de SEPA.
Autumn Lunde: Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon 2016
My time in Costa Rica:
I highly recommend visiting Costa Rica. Not only is it a beautiful country, but it is also a place with beautiful people. Sometimes in life you meet people and/or you go places that impact your life and they stay with you; this is how I feel about Costa Rica. The people I met in Perez Zeledon will always be close to my heart. I am thankful for the opportunity to study and improve my Spanish with the help of SEPA School, and the teacher I had is amazing . She made learning Spanish fun and was always encouraging, even when she was derailed by her students. The family that SEPA had picked out for me was perfect, we were a great fit for everyone in the house.
I am thankful that I was able to travel around the country with my classmates and interact with locals. The coastal highway is very beautiful, the volcanoes are amazing.
Marie Klein: Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon 2016
I'm Marie. I'm from Oregon, but I've been in Costa Rica for seven weeks. In Costa Rica I've been happy and content. I have learned a lot of information that I cannot learn in the U.S. I enjoyed my time with my Costa Rican family. The family is very friendly. I enjoyed my time learning the culture of Costa Rica as well. I have learned how to live in a world that is not mine. I went to many beautiful places in Costa Rica like Manuel Antonio, Nauyuca, Dominical, La Cusinga, Canopies, Bribri, and Cloudbridge. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was Nauyuca because it's very beautiful, refreshing, and peaceful. What a good experience!
Jordan Ishibashi: Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon 2016
I had an amazing time during my study abroad term in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica. I got to meet new friends, new family, and learn new life skills. I went zip lining through the canopy, horseback riding to a waterfall and visited Panama City. I also got to jump off a waterfall, spend a weekend getting pampered at a seaside resort, and went looking for exotic animals at Manuel Antonio. I got to learn Spanish by going to class in paradise and by living everyday life in total submersion in Spanish culture. It was an overall fantastic learning experience that I would recommend to everyone.
Emilie Garner, Louisville, Kentucky 2015
I had a great time in Costa Rica. I loved the location and rooms at Matapalo. I liked the service at Fudebiol the best. I loved all the activities that we did during class and the teachers were so nice!
William Garner, Kentucky 2015
Costa Rica was a lot of fun and I really liked this country a lot. I had a great experience and I wish I could see more.
Casley Rose Matthews, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
My experience in Costa Rica was incredible. I had an amazing time. I learned a lot in Spanish class and it really improved my speaking and understanding abilities. A lot of what we did became life experiences. My time here has really made me want to stay much longer! I would recommend this program to everyone. I had the time of my life!
Casley Rose Matthews
Daisy Parker, OVERLAND 2015
I loved the time I spent in Costa Rica. I found the community service really meaningful. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to learn Spanish and do service in Costa Rica. I think talking to and working with the kids at Miravalles School was really fun. The teachers were also AWESOME!
United States of America
Cam Lind, OVERLAND 2015
SEPA School was fun and a different experience than regular Spanish classes. I liked that the profesoras didn’t speak English so I had to communicate with them and learn more Spanish. I also liked the activities we did.
United States of America
Sofi de la Sierra, OVERLAND 2015
The SEPA School program is an organization I enjoyed very much. The program helped me learn how to speak more Spanish by teaching me new vocabulary words and grammar. The classes were all fun and intriguing due to the activities we did. I recommend the SEPA School program to students who aspire to improve their Spanish in the future.
Sofi de la Sierra
United States of America
David Herman, OVERLAND 2015
I enjoyed SEPA School. The activities we did during class time were fun and they helped me learn Spanish. The teachers were amazing! I really enjoyed all of the places we stayed at and liked the volunteer work.
United States of America
Matthew Toulouze, OVERLAND 2015
Overall I enjoyed my three weeks in Costa Rica at SEPA School. I feel that I have become much more confident when talking in Spanish. I liked that we did not only have class but other activities, such as going to the movies and talking in Spanish to the Tico students. Ana was a great teacher and my only regret is that I did not get to spend more time in Costa Rica.
United States of America
Jordyn Adeboyo: OVERLAND LEADER 2015
Our summer would not have been the same without the professors at the SEPA School. Many of our campers came to Costa Rica very nervous to speak Spanish but the friendly, relaxed and interactive atmosphere helped them to become comfortable conversing. The professors made sure to structure dynamic and diverse class activities, so the students got to benefit from hands-on learning as well as traditional classroom instruction. In addition to the professors, the other personnel at SEPA were always available and happy to help our group with any big or small problem that arose. They made us feel al home in Costa Rica; our group is extremely grateful for what they have done for us!
United States of America
Jacob Reilly: OVERLAND LEADER 2015
It was a pleasure working with Nidia and the SEPA School. The profesoras were always coming up with creative ways to help the students learn and practice their Spanish. Nidia was always available and willing to assist us in any situation. They truly cared about us, and each and every student.
United States of America
Katherine Murray, OVERLAND 2015
I learned more at SEPA School in three weeks then I did in Spanish 3 this year! I absolutely enjoyed my experience with it. The teachers were great and did an amazing job teaching us. I felt like I learned a lot about conversation. Thank you for making my time here so much fun!
Gabby Allen, OVERLAND 2015
I really enjoyed my experience with the SEPA School. The teachers were really nice and I feel like I became more comfortable with speaking and understanding. The activities were really fun. I enjoyed the dance class, movie, and cooking that we did, as well as the in-class activities like the 3-legged race and the sticker games. I had a great time!
Noah Pereles, OVERLAND 2015
I enjoyed my time at SEPA School. I learned a lot through activities and games. I especially enjoyed learning new vocabulary and fine-tuning my understanding of conjugations. The movies were fun because I was able to follow along. Well, I had to focus the whole time, but my schooling at SEPA allowed me to understand monologues in the movie that I would not have understood before. All the experiences at SEPA, including cooking, expanded my Spanish speaking ability. I am now much more comfortable speaking Spanish than before.
United States of America
Owen Hiland: OVERLAND 2015
I enjoyed learning Spanish at the SEPA School. I enjoyed conversing and learning in classes and the experienced educational opportunities we received, such as dance class and seeing a movie in Spanish. I also enjoyed seeing San Isidro and getting to know the people at school. I definitely feel like it made a difference – would definitely recommend SEPA School to other Spanish students.
United States of America
Alexa Carlson, OVERLAND 2015
I enjoyed the volunteer work; we did a lot! Each place was extremely different so I got to learn and do many different things. I also learned a lot of Spanish, not only in class but at the service where I could speak to other people. I also loved the activities we did during class, such as dance class, cooking class, and the movies. This was an overall great experience and I loved it!
United States of America
Ben Maloy, OVERLAND 2015
In my three weeks with SEPA School my conversation skills in Spanish and my Spanish grammar improved with lots of good work and fun activities in the classroom. I feel well-prepared for next year's Spanish class. After the movie theatre, the farmers' market, and other outside-the-class activities I feel more comfortable speaking Spanish. All-in-all, after these three weeks I have learned a lot of Spanish, and had an amazing time with the Ticos.
United States of America
Aubrey Suronen, OREGON UNIVERSITY 2015
After my time here in Costa Rica, my Spanish has improved in leaps and bounds. I came to Costa Rica with only one term of college Spanish and practically no prior knowledge of the country. I spent my weekends and afternoons traveling to nearby beaches, volcanoes or hikes and exploring the town. After weekends away, coming back to San Isidro felt like home. From classes to weekend excursions, and especially my host family, I loved every part of my trip. This adventure was amazing and I fully intend to come back and do it again.
Michael, OVERLAND 2014
I had a great experience with SEPA! The language learning was top-of-the-line. I would give my experience with SEPA a 10 out of 10! What made it so great was that we practiced our Spanish in unique ways such as buying stuff at the market. Service work was also great as we helped and interacted with the children, adults, and nature throughout the community. On the weekends we had lots of fun - the beach was beautiful! However, the best part of my experience with SEPA was the homestay! Through it, I learned about the Costa Rican culture and was introduced to delicious food.
United States of America
Alli Cobb, OVERLAND LEADER 2014
SEPA is a wonderful language school with talented and friendly teachers. All of our students enjoyed the classes, which are very active, and improved their Spanish a lot. The homestays with local Costa Rican families was an invaluable part of our experience here and we felt very welcomed and comfortable. I would recommend the SEPA School and their programs to anyone looking to improve their Spanish and explore a beautiful culture. We were more than satisfied with our experience!
United States of America
Magnus Vogel: OVERLAND 2014
The past three weeks were probably the best of my whole life. I made many new friends, learned a lot of Spanish and learned a whole new culture. The beach at the La Cusinga lodge was my favorite activity of the trip.
United States of America
Ella Kitterman, OVERLAND 2014
I very much enjoyed this trip and felt as though I got a lot out of it. The classes were always fun and I enjoyed going to them and felt as though I learned a lot. The homestay was my favorite though, and I think I improved my Spanish most there, by simply talking to the family. I enjoyed helping in the different places and feel like I got to make a difference in a small way, which is something I will always remember. There was a good balance of work and fun, and the beach and little trips we went on were all fun and different. I had a great time and would do it again.
United States of America
Max Vanner, OVERLAND 2014
This school has been life-changing. From fun Spanish games - acting out plays, swimming during class - to beach parties and homestays, we have taken Costa Rica by storm! Yes, we learn Spanish for four hours a day, but with the eccentric teachers, field trips, and happy atmosphere, it feels like camp. In this school, we learn Spanish by going to markets, shops, and meeting people to practice our skills. Thank you SEPA for providing me with a lifelong memory and helping my Spanish.
United States of America
Maria Koblish: OVERLAND 2014
From the three weeks I spent on this Overland trip, I learned more Spanish, made new friends and had many new once-in-a-lifetime experiences. This trip taught me a lot about independence and being away from home. The trip started at Talari and from there I learned a lot about Costa Rican culture and the way things go. SEPA made the trip fun and exciting. I feel like my Spanish has improved and will help me in my school work back home. This has been a trip I will never forget and memories I will have forever thanks to SEPA and the Overland leaders.
United States of America
Conor O'Brian, OVERLAND LEADER 2014
These were some of the best weeks of my life. Each person we came in contact with, whether it was a professor at SEPA or a bus driver, was exceptionally nice. We loved spending time with everyone, and honestly hope we stay in touch and see each other again in the future. Thank you all so, so much for all your help, as we know we asked for a lot. I only wish that we had more time to all hang out, without the kids! Thanks!!
United States of America
Amelia Mickelson, OVERLAND 2014
This was my third year at Overland. This trip, in my experience, was the best. I had so much fun over the past three weeks with my group, learning Spanish and doing service. It is very hard to choose a best part. There was zip-lining, the beach, kayaking and rafting. The leaders were great as well, they were fun and cool. This trip was also great because it has helped me feel better about moving. The best part was the entire trip. Learning Spanish, doing service and having fun.
United States of America
I had a lot of fun on this trip. I liked where we were staying. All the places we went were a lot of fun. I really liked the weekends. I also liked it when we played games in class. Overall, the trip was great and I would probably come back again.
United States of America
Anthony J. H: OVERLAND LEADER 2014
Working with SEPA has been nothing short of an amazing experience. Nidia, the teachers, and everyone else who works with SEPA are so caring, friendly, intelligent and welcoming. I could not imagine going through a trip through Costa Rica without them. They have aided me and supported me in too many ways to count or mention. I will always be grateful for the amazing, life-changing experience I had in Costa Rica thanks to the hard work SEPA put in. I cannot thank you enough, Nidia, Paula and Mari. You all are the best.
United States of America
OVERLAND STUDENT, 2014
The whole trip was fantastic and it was the greatest experience of my life. Moving around was fun as well. We went in homestays (which was amazing). We went to three different places for service. The service was amazing. It feels really good to know you helped many people in many different ways. The classes could be a little long, but I loved them anyway. We went to a movie, and to the market and shopping and while we did it all we also got to learn Spanish. And we also went to the beach for two days. The entire trip was great.
United States of America
Evelyn W: OVERLAND 2014
My experience in Costa Rica was great! SEPA School helped with making this trip amazing. Not only did SEPA teach me Spanish but also set up many fun activities! I came to Costa Rica with barely knowing any Spanish and thanks to SEPA School I learned so much more. I now can have a small conversation with people in Costa Rica because of my classes. My teacher was Veronica. She did an amazing job working with my group! With only a few classes I learned more than I thought I could, thanks to Veronica. All the activities set up were a blast. I appreciate the Fourth of July party they set up for us. I also enjoyed zip-lining and the movies. SEPA School made my experience in Costa Rica amazing. Thank you!
United States of America
Alex C: OVERLAND 2014
My experience with SEPA School was unforgettable. The places we went to were amazing and class was very well-taught. I thought the classes helped my Spanish a lot, especially because the teacher spoke mostly Spanish to us.
United States of America
Allison C: OVERLAND LEADER 2014
A very well organized experience. Our students especially enjoyed the service work at FUDEBIOL because it was tangible, different and fun. It was wonderful to live, work, and learn in the same location. We had wonderful opportunities to travel to several parts of Costa Rica while also getting to know San Isidro. Our students especially enjoyed their homestays, and we felt very comfortable with all of the families. Overall, it was a good experience and our students improved their Spanish every day and that was wonderful to hear.
United States of America
Jeanne A. Blankenship: ADULT STUDENT 2014
I have taught Spanish in the United States for nine years. Recently, I took one week of classes at SEPA and was AMAZED at how much I learned. My understanding and ability to speak Spanish shot ahead after just one week of classes. Suddenly, verb tenses made sense, that had never made sense to me before, although I am a teacher. I truly believe in what they are doing at SEPA School. It works. You are welcome to contact me on my USA number: 509-723-4561 or by email.
United States of America
Brooke W: OVERLAND 2014
SEPA School provided a positive learning environment that helped me improve my Spanish tremendously. The events and outings SEPA organized were amazing. I had an amazing three weeks. Thanks for all!
United States of America
Mia B: OVERLAND 2014
During the three weeks we were here we did many activities. We learned a lot of Spanish and did service work. At the beginning of our trip we did trail work and had Spanish classes in FUDEBIOL. The food was good there and the beds were comfortable. Then we got to go to the beach. The view was fantastic and the water was really warm. Then we got to spend time with our homestay families. We got to spend breakfast and dinner with them. During the day we had service work and class. Then the last week we spent time in Talari where the food was great and the rooms were really nice. The SEPA School was great and very homie. The teachers were great and really nice. I had a great time there and I wish to come back.
United States of America
Kara H: OVERLAND 2014
SEPA School was really, really fun. I think all the events and classes we went to really improved my understanding of Spanish. SEPA School made my Costa Rica experience even more amazing. I enjoyed every day here and I wish I could stay longer. I cannot say enough good things about the teachers and the school and Costa Rica in general. All the people here are so nice and amazing.
United States of America
Matthew S: OVERLAND 2014
I had a great experience with SEPA School. I enjoyed all of the trips we took. One of my highlights with SEPA was going to a local market and learning how to say some of the foods in Spanish. During the classes I learned a lot through conversation activities and lectures. Ana was a great teacher. She was very understanding that we all were at different levels in Spanish and was able to teach us all. My highlight of class was my conversations with Ana about soccer. In these conversations I learned lots of new words and phrases while also having a great time. In conclusion, my experience with SEPA was really fun and also informative.
United States of America
Sam B: OVERLAND 2014
This trip has been awesome. I have gotten to learn a lot of Spanish and a lot more about the culture. Not only has it been a learning experience, but also a really fun experience. The beach was amazing and all of the service has been hard work but enjoyable. I especially enjoyed my homestay week because I virtually used my Spanish all the time and enjoyed the culture and food. Overall, it has been an unforgettable trip and SEPA has made it better than I could have ever imagined.
United States of America
Izzy B: OVERLAND 2014
The past three weeks here in Costa Rica have been fun and helpful towards many different topics. I have learned how to be a better person, improve on my Spanish, and help others. This trip has been a great learning experience. We have been made as students to apply our Spanish to the real world. To be able to do this we stayed in a homestay with a Costa Rican family and used our knowledge by making conversation. This experience has been so fun and great.
United States of America
Samantha M: OVERLAND 2014
My experience with SEPA was amazing. Everyone was friendly, cordial, and kind. I was constantly impressed with the activities and, overall, everything was a complete once-in-a-lifetime experience. I would definitely recommend this program for anyone who likes to learn Spanish and try fun, adventurous, new things!
United States of America
Jed: OVERLAND 2014
I had lots of fun in Costa Rica. SEPA School was great. I learned a great amount of Spanish in three weeks and everyone was very nice. Talari was a fantastic place with many activities. The homestays were all great and everyone was happy with their families. FUDEBIOL was a great nature reserve with great activities in a beautiful setting. All places were amazing. I really enjoyed the people I met. The service was also amazing. I loved helping the schools and meeting the kids. The trip was organized fantastically by SEPA. Thank you, SEPA. Veronica was an outstanding teacher with much tolerance, poise, commitment, and kindness. I enjoyed my time in Costa Rica very much.
United States of America
Zack: OVERLAND 2014
I had a good time. I first went to Talari Lodge. It was beautiful. The people were nice. Then we went to SEPA School. We had a test and I got placed in the second group. We had four hours of class every day. We played games too and went on field trips. It was awesome. One field trip was to an indigenous tribe. It was epic. Next we went to the movies. It was epic. Next we went to the zip-line. It was epic.
United States of America
Alexa: OVERLAND 2014
I had an awesome experience with SEPA School. All the classes were fun and the teachers were nice. SEPA organized really cool places for us to go. My favorite places we went to were a local farmers market, the indigenous tribe, and zip-lining. I learned a lot of Spanish in my classes and out of them.
United States of America
Leah R: OVERLAND 2014
The three weeks I spent in Costa Rica were very fun. All the activities were very fun and helped me with my Spanish. I think I learned a lot during class, and where we went during class, like the market, helped me know more about the culture. Also, the service work felt very good, knowing I was helping people who needed it. The homestays also helped me learn more about the Costa Rican culture and improved my Spanish. Overall the whole trip was very fun and a great learning experience.
United States of America
Anthony J. H: OVERLAND LEADER 2014
SEPA School is amazing. The teachers, Nidia, and everyone else involved, has made the past three weeks such an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. I appreciate so much everything they have done for me and the group. Paula and Maribel have been such an awesome help to the students. The students consistently raved about how fun and dynamic the classes were and how much they loved the teachers. I honestly cannot think of a single bad thing about my experience at SEPA. It was overall a great experience that I would be lucky to experience again. Thank you for everything, SEPA!
United States of America
Emily W: OVERLAND 2014
Emily W: OVERLAND 2014
Every activity organized by SEPA School provided learning, fun, and interactions with the culture. Between the service, classes, and excursions, I have learned a lot and made memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks, Nidia and SEPA School.
United States of America
Charles S: OVERLAND 2014
My trip was really fun. I think that SEPA School made the right choices for our trip in Costa Rica. The classes were interesting. There was nothing bad that we did.
United States of America
Scott B: OVERLAND 2014
The three weeks here in Costa Rica were fantastic. SEPA School made it very worth my while to come. All of the activities that our group participated in were exciting and lots of fun. The only thing I would change is instead of three weeks I would make it four. My teachers were outstanding.
United States of America
Olivia M.- Moondance Adventures
The classes are very helpful, and we were taught extremely useful things. The teachers have taught us many phrases and words that I used in the homestay. Thr teachers keep the class exciting and fun....
June 25th, 2013
Carlin - Moondance Adventures
I thought that the homestays and SEPA school were great experiences that have greatly improved my Spanish. I am definitely glad that I got to do this, and I would recommend this to other people who are looking to improve their Spanish speaking skills. I really hope I am able to do something like this again.
June 25th, 2013
Holcombe - Moondance Adventures
SEPA is an amazing program that helps students learn about other worlds. Homestays were amazing and rewarding. I will never forget this for as long as I live.
June 25th, 2013
Nikki Sabatino- OVERLAND 2012
My experience at SEPA School was awesome! I loved all the activities that they planned for the group. We got to go to Bribri, indigenous people who danced for us. We returned the favor by dancing or throwing a puppet show for them. Later we got to eat cake and play soccer with them. I would have to say that going to Bribri was my favorite activity. Although we also had a lot of fun in Spanish class, the teacher are great and really helped me improve on my Spanish. We worked in preterit subjunctive and a lot more. We got to play a bunch of activities like 20 questions, scattegories, and more. Now I really feel confident in my Spanish. All in all I had a great experience.
Overland group 2B 2012
Sally Jorgensen, Jan. 2012
I had a great time at Sepa. I have been talking about it to all my friends here. Anna was a wonderful teacher and I learned an enormous amount of Spanish grammar and basic structure. I now have to work with all the information she gave me and practice as much as I can. I have met someone here in Mahone Bay who was a Spanish teacher in Florida and we are going to "chat" in Spanish as much as possible. I am looking forward to coming back next year for more instruction!! I wish I could come sooner! All the very best to all of you. Hope you all have a great year. Looking forward to 2013. Sally Jorgensen.
Mahoney Bay, N.S. Canada
Wendy Hounsel, January 2012
I had a fabulous time at SEPA! From the moment I arrived I felt welcomed and cared for by both the school and my wonderful host family. My instructor Ana was excellent, and in addition she was patient and fun. I appreciated the exposure not only to medical vocabulary and Spanish assessment skills, but also to the Costa Rican health care system. I now feel better equipped to care for my Spanish-speaking patients, and look forward to returning to SEPA for more Spanish immersion!
Wendy Hounsel, Herbalist, RN
San Francisco, CA
Attending SEPA was a fantastic step for me in improving my Spanish speaking abilities and in my nursing career. Each part of my program was individualized and oriented to my goals and needs. My teacher was not only very kind, but had a keen ability to focus in on particular areas where I could improve my Spanish. As SEPA widely expanded my Spanish it simultaneously game me wonderful experiences at local nursing homes. Every weekday I was able to practice my ever-improving Spanish skills with nurses and the elderly. During this time, I had some opportunities to practice my nursing skills. SEPA also arranged a fabulous host family during my stay. This family was very courteous, had very good food, and showed me many amazing and beautiful parts of the Costa Rican culture. I left Costa Rica with confidence in what I had learned and excitement for my ability in the future. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about SEPA.
To be able to come to San Isidro was such a great experience. It was really fun to be able to stay with a Tico family for a week because it made me more comftorable speaking spanish, rather then just knowing the vocabulary. Being in a class of only two was very helpful because I got more one on one time, rather then being in a class of a lot of kids. It was a really great experience to be able to see the city of San Isidro and get to know the culture. I really liked it at Sepa and I would definitly recommend the school to anyone interested in learning more spanish.
Valle Del Sol, Santa Ana
I absolutely loved my time at SEPA school. It is an interesting, fun, and beautiful place to learn spanish. The learning enviornment is fantastic with enthusiastic teachers. Not only is the school great, but staying with Tico families and getting to konw the city of San Ididro lets you experience Costa Rican cutlture first hand. SEPA has been an amazing experience that I would highly reccomend to others.
Valle Del Sol, Santa Ana
Morgan Kapinos, Kenny Reid
It was a pleasure for us to work with Sepa this summer. The whole team worked very hard to ensure that our time here was well organized and lots of fun. Our students learned a lot inside and outside of the classroom thanks to the very dynamic professors that our students worked with. We were set up with a nice variety of service projects that allowed our students to give back to and interact with the local community. Thank you to Nidia and her team for their efforts in making this summer a huge success for us and our students.
22 Ingersoll Rd., Wellesley, MA 02481, USA
Die SEPA-Schule ist definitiv weiterzuempfehlen, da bei dieser Schule das Preis-Leistungsverhaeltniss stimmt. Die Lehrer/Innen sind alle sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit, sie zeigen einem die Stadt und versuchen ihre Schueler/Innen in die Kultur,die Menschen und den Alltag Costa Ricas einzufuehren. Die Gastfamilien sind kultivierte und etablierte Menschen, die sich auch fuer ihre " Gastkinder" interessiern. Es war eine schoene Zeit!
Sandy Jones-- Massachusetts--2010
My experience with Spanish Language and Environmental Protection Center (SEPA) was one of the best things I have ever done and well worth the money. As a nursing assistant, working in the Boston, Massachusetts area, I assist at least one Spanish speaking patient during each work shift. I felt it would be a good idea to take a Spanish class to improve my ability to speak more effectively with the patients, and broaden my Spanish language skills in medical terminology. When I began my search for a summer Spanish class I knew I wanted to be in an intensive Spanish program with the opportunity to work in the community where I could apply the skills I gained in nursing school. I chose a school in Costa Rica, rather than the United States, because I had been to Costa Rica several times and felt it was a safe, fun, an unique place to be where I would be fully immersed in the Latin lifestyle. I found SEPA online, in San Isidro de General, Costa Rica, and became very excited about the programs they had to offer. The program I chose was designed for nurses and doctors and focused on medical terminology and explored the Costa Rican Healthcare system. Part of the program also incorporated the opportunity to participate in community service. A major highlight of the program was the work I did in the community. My community work was done at a long-term senior living home. For two weeks I work for four hours in the senior living home and then returned to the central area of town to meet with my instructor. The senior living home was a wonderful representation of Costa Rican community health. I fell in love with the people working and living there. This was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life!
Here is a little more information about SEPA. I entered the program for two full weeks. Nidia and Wilbure, the Directors of SEPA, went out of their way to ensure my experience was the best it could possibly be. My communication with the school was fast and efficient and they were always available for any questions that I had prior to my visit. SEPA took the time to make sure I had all the information and even customized the program for me, because I was not part of a group. The school was able to determine my level of Spanish and ensure the learning was applicable to my specific level of Spanish. I was paired up with a fantastic instructor, Ana Yancy. She spoke entirely in Spanish and was able to determine where my difficulties were. My sessions were one-on-one and this made the sessions intensive. Ana was creative with her teaching style and was extremely patient with me. She has a wonderful personality as well. Some of the classes were at the SEPA location, which was in a gorgeous setting overlooking the mountains of San Isidro de General. When we were not at the SEPA location, we spent time exploring the amazing city of San Isidro. Some days we walked in and out of stores, or restaurants, chatting with the locals and my instructor corrected my Spanish when needed. Other days we visited health institutions such as, the private and public hospitals, local clinics, and the Red Cross. Aside from the local institutions and organizations directly in San Isidro Centro, SEPA went on a field trip to a private reserve, Quebradas, which contained a botanical garden with several plants that are used in treating and healing illness.
My time at SEPA exceeded my expectations and fulfilled everything I was hoping for in a Spanish school with the emphasis in the medical profession. I intend on returning there soon to pick up where I left off and continue my Spanish language skills in medical terminology and community health.
If you have specific questions regarding SEPA, please contact me by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Do it! You will not regret it!
Jan Erik Neun ----Berlin/Alemania---October 2009
My volunteer work at the Bribripa Kaneblo Indigenous Reserve. Going to Salitre by bus was very easy. It just took me an hour from the San Isidro station to Buenos Aires. Then I took a Taxi to Salitre, which cost me 4000 Colones. As soon as I reached the Bribri reserve in Salitre, they already expected me happily! I got to know the people I was going to work with for the next days and of course my host family. They were really really nice, and although the living conditions are so different from those in Europe or the US, it was great staying with them. My daily schedule was alwas like this, waking up at 6:00 a.m more or less, then breakfast (Gallo Pinto;-) at 6:30, starting work at 7:30 a.m. I either helped them to build the "rancho", made of palm leaves, or built wooden signs for the diferent parts of the reserve. It was exhausting sometimes but also interesting, especially the work in the "rancho". Well, I worked always until 12:00, then I had like an hour to relax a little bit, before I did several interesting activities in the reserve. For example learning about the Bribri language and culture, visiting nature around the reserve, eating different things with different families and so on. And then in the evening, after dinner I always talked a little bit with my host family (which was good for my Spanish speaking skills) and then fell asleep at 8 or 9pm. Quite early, that is because the days were quite exhausting!
All in all I can say it was a great experience for me, and it could be a great experience for anybody who does not care that there is no hot water, not always electricity, no toilet like in Europe/US, different food, different cultural traditions and so on. It is a place where you can live history!
Alright Wilbur, Nidia; hope to see you again in the future, like I said I will write more and send pictures when I am at home in 2 and a half weeks.
Greetings from Dominical...
Jordan Palefsky -Dallas Texas -- OVERLAND-July 2009
I absolutely loved SEPA! It was such a great review of the grammar I had already learned, and a great way to learn about the Costa Rican culture. The wonderful teachers helped boost my confidence in speaking and comprehending Spanish, and now I have friends that I will always stay in touch with. Gracias, SEPA y Nidia.
Leo Karpinski--- New Mexico USA.
I highly recommend SEPA. Wilbur and Nidia and all of the staff are very friendly, caring and supportive.
The teaching is practically geared to your level of Spanish speaking as well as your learning mode.
Additionally, I made some good friends, some of which are like family.
The field trips were also very practical...We had to go grocery shopping at the mercado, tour a bamboo factory y mas.
I cannot say strongly enough how positive the experience is...I will return again.
New Mexico USA
Dipak Ghelani - houston, Texas- March 27 2009
SEPA is the perfect school in the perfect location for learning Spanish. From before I arrived at the school, Nidia already helped me with a weekend trip in another part of Costa Rica. Wilbure also helped me to set up trips during the weekends between classes, and he even called the places to check on me. The class was very personalized to help me in a way that 2 weeks here was worth more than 5 scattered semesters in the U.S. I actually feel like I can use Spanish in the outside world now. The guided field trips (to the restaurant, farmers market, etc.) were particularly beneficial. The people of San Isidro (shops, buses, everywhere) were very willing to let me practice Spanish with them as well. My family-homestay was great, and I actually extended my school because the experience was so nice. They cooked great meals, taught me to dance (no small feat), and took great care of me. Because of my experience here, Costa Rica will always have a very special place in my heart.
Clair Durkes--Evanston Ilinois ---21 - 07 - 2008
Everything about the SEPA experience was wonderful. From meeting my family upon my arrival to exploring the biological reserves of San Isidro, my experience included warm, friendly people and authentic learning of the Spanish language in real settings. The SEPA staff and teachers tailored their instruction to my needs and desires and designed a week-long program that maximized my time and learning opportunities. My focus was environmental education and was able to travel to many beaches, forests, and reserves to talk to experts in the field. My host family was wonderful and so welcoming. I never felt alone in Costa Rica once I met them and the SEPA staff. My experience was unforgettable and I cannot wait to come back!
Pria Mahadevan. Princeton, NJ, __ Overland, July 2008
I had a great experience with the SEPA school while I was in Costa Rica! The teachers are so devoted to what they do. Wendy, Kristel, and Angie were always there for us when we needed to ask them questions, no matter how trivial they were. Along with learning lots of Spanish I also enjoyed learning a lot about Costa Rica as a country, because Wendy would try her best to bring us a lecture about Costa Rican people, customs, weather, etc. which all of us found very interesting. I LOVED everything about my stay in Costa Rica. UN ABRAZO PARA TODOS.
Mary Bianco. Briarcliff Manor. USA. Overland, July 2008.
I had an amazing time in Costa Rica. I think that having SEPA SCHOOL teach us about the culture and the language added to the experience. I not only learned how to communicate and carry out conversation with the people, i leaned about their daily lives. Kristel, you were so helpful and always understanding of our difficulties learning spanish. You never got angry when we spoke in English you just explained that we need to speak in Spanish to enhance our learning experience. I feel as if i have and advantage going into the school year because of every thing you taught me. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!
Briarcliff Manor. USA.
Kathryn Bradway. Las Vegas Nevada. November 23, 2007
One major difference between SEPA School and others is their commitment to the individual student. They will work with you to achieve the most successful and enjoyable learning experience possible. My time with SEPA, learning the language, culture, history, and environment of Costa Rica, has proven to be more beneficial than I could have imagined. I plan to return soon and participate in one of the other programs. Muchisimas gracias!
Las Vegas Nevada
Lynda Sellar--Ontario, Canada. December 2007
I have studied Spanish at SEPA several times during the past 8 years. It is always a pleasure.
The learning environment is professional and friendly and the setting is as lovely as you could imagine.
My host family in San Isidro was gracious and welcoming. March 13, 2007
SEPA rates an A+
Julia Farr - Brooklyn, USA- Jun 2nd to Jun 27th 2003
Environmental Studies students from
The State University of New York at Binghamton
"I had a great experience with SEPA and I would definitely recommend it to others. SEPA helped me to learn about the environment by setting up an interview with a man from MINAE and by showing me a video on the national parks. After watching this with my professor, we discussed the relevant terms and vocabulary in Spanish for example, endangered species like the sea turtles and scarlet macaws.
I stayed with a woman and her grandson, and another student from Costa Rica, was living with us too. My Costa Rican family was extremely accommodating and generous. I was able to practice Spanish all the time with them on top of the 4 hours of Spanish lessons a day. The classes were very relaxed and my teacher and I understood each other well. My Spanish improved a lot.
The office and classroom at SEPA were very comfortable and pleasant. There are a lot of beautiful artifacts in the building and a lovely garden.
Wilbure and Nidia were very helpful and understanding. They are concerned and knowledgeable about the environment of Costa Rica. They offer many trips to explore natural wonders for example, beaches, hot springs and National Parks.
San Isidro is a pretty modern city with all the resources and luxuries you could need. It is a very walk able city and a field safe there.
Wilbure and Nidia cater to your interests. I wanted to teach English so, they set me up to help at an elementary school and a university.
I came here to study so that I would be able to say, "I speak Spanish" with more confidence, and to take part in a different culture. I have been able to do that and more."
364 5th street, Brooklyn NY 11215, USA
Terrence Mills-Nailsworth, England. July 1997
"As a lone traveler my trip was greatly enhanced by joining a Spanish Language School "SEPA" for a couple of weeks. Not only did it increase my Spanish knowledge, but my understanding of the Costa Rican people and culture. I lived with a Costa Rican family and for three days each week, my tutors took me off to their incredible wildlife reserve in the Peninsula de Osa."
Robin Rogers-Portland, Oregon, U.S.A-1997
"I learned a lot of Spanish in only three weeks. Don Walter explained things clearly and was well organized... I really enjoyed the volunteer work in both Quebradas and the school. In particular working in the school was a good opportunity to practice Spanish..."
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A
Don Hagen-Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. June 1998
"I can highly recommend "SEPA" to learn Spanish in Costa Rica. I have learned a lot and I also have gained good friends. Pura Vida!"
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.